INDEPENDENT NEWS

TOW Fisheries Commissioners Announced

Published: Tue 22 Aug 2000 03:09 PM
Treaty Of Waitangi Fisheries Commissioners Announced
The Hon Parekura Horomia, Minister of Mäori Affairs, announced today the appointment of members to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission.
Mr Horomia said he had considered over 100 nominations and submissions and appointed the best people possible, with a mix of skills and experience.
"There is a core group that retain institutional knowledge and some new faces who can bring a fresh perspective. "The new Commission retains four current commissioners Craig Ellison, Naida Glavish, Shane Jones, Archie Taiaroa, The seven new members of the Commission are June Jackson, June Mariu, Ken Mason, Robert McLeod, Maui Solomon, Toro Waaka and Hon Koro Wetere."
Mr Horomia said today is a milestone as the appointment processes were initiated by each of the three Ministers who preceded him in this portfolio, but for one reason or another were not completed.
"Like the Mäori Fisheries debate, these appointments have become a contested issue. However, I have been determined to ensure that the Crown’s obligation is carried out so that at least this element of debate can hopefully be put behind us.”
“The final decisions may not satisfy all interests in a debate that has become polarised, but nevertheless I am hopeful that all groups will allow the new Commission to get on with its job and build a consensus in the community on fisheries issues.”
Mr Horomia acknowledged the work of his predecessor Dover Samuels, saying that he had based his decisions on the consultation process.
“Dover carried out a thorough consultation process, beginning with calls for nominations and submissions on selection criteria, public notices in media and letters to Mäori groups throughout the country. Mr Samuels also consulted with the Mäori Fisheries Negotiators and with representatives of various interest and community groups in the Mäori community”.
Mr Horomia said that the interest groups and litigant parties within the Mäori community also had to play their part.
“ I hope that those groups will take this as an opportunity to reflect on their respective strategies and commit to building shared solutions. We are all tired of these issues being litigated in the courts.”
Mr Horomia also paid tribute to the outgoing members of the Commission.
“The contribution of those members who have not been re-appointed has been outstanding. I would like to particularly recognise the work of Sir Tipene O’Regan, Sir Robert Mahuta and Whaimutu Dewes. They have played a major part in ensuring the fisheries asset is in a very strong position. I know they will be disappointed because they have committed themselves to these issues for many years at some personal cost. But they will continue to contribute to the affairs of their communities and the country at large.”
Mr Horomia also acknowledged outgoing members Anaru Rangiheuea, Eveyn Tuuta and Maui John Mitchell. They have all made important contributions to the Commission’s work with which they can be satisfied.
“Too often we forget the contributions of those who may have avoided the public gaze, but they have all been sterling servants of the Mäori community. Nga mihi nui ki a ratou katoa. “
The Minister noted that he may consider the option of appointing a further two members to the Commission to bring it to its full complement at a later stage. Nevertheless he said he will continue to support the Commission in carrying out its statutory obligations.
“The Commission is an independent statutory authority. I will liase closely with the new Commission. I will write letters of appointment to the Commissioners setting out the Crown’s expectations that the Commissioners should represent the interests of Maori generally and should try to facilitate consensus on the fisheries issues. I look forward to maintaining a positive relationship with Commission members, consistent at all times with their independent status.”

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